Sunday, August 17, 2014

The Rainbow Collection . . .






Top: Alloy
Skirt: Target
Shoes: J. C. Penney's
Bag: Loop, Marshalls
Belt: Marshalls
Sunglasses: Cloud Nine, Ocean City boardwalk








Top: J. C. Penney's
Camisole: Kohl's
Skirt: H&M
Shoes: Nine West, DSW
Bag: Marshalls
Sunglasses: J. C. Penney's








Top: Kohl's
Skirt: Modcloth
Shoes: Betseyville, J. C. Penney's
Bag: Nine West, Boscov's
Belt: Wet Seal
Scarf: Wet Seal
Sunglasses: J. C. Penney's

. . . is a title that I could assign to many a post, not to mention one that would do Kermie proud.  But it seems especially fitting for this week's ROYGBIV-banded trio.  Each necklace features charms purchased from Etsy seller Bohemian Findings, a shop as full of fun as its pun of a name promises.  And there's more where that came from!  As ever, I got a little carried away with supplies and have three more kawaii-tastic creations to unveil next week.

Getting back to the post name, I almost didn't use it for fear that I had, horror of horrors, used it before, rainbows and pop culture puns being spokes in my whimsical wheelhouse. Now that I've been blogging for years, I constantly fret about that sort of thing, having not once but twice likened myself to one of those dreaded repetitive relatives who corner you at birthday parties with rehashed stories of departed pets, conspiracy theories, and other relatives who've stolen their antique gold watches, seats on town council, and/or husbands.  Although I seem to be getting better at this whole Internet thing, that is, social networking and having the tech skills to maintain said networks, it sometimes still baffles me.  Which is just one of the reasons (watch out for the sneaky segue) that I can relate to Bridget Jones in Helen Fielding's latest installment, Mad About the Boy.

Set fourteen years after Bridget and Mark Darcy get together, the novel pits Bridget against all sorts of new sticky situations, one of which is navigating Twitter.  She struggles to upload pictures, gets blindsided by spambots, and obsesses over her followers only to amass a respectable number and then lose most of them by insulting, of all things, a bird, Twitter's beloved mascot.  (Being Bridget, she ends up garnering even more followers, many of whom log on just to read of her latest mishaps.)  It's very funny, and I'm enjoying it hugely, in no small part because it makes me feel like it's okay to be more lax about life.  And also to eat more cookies (case in point, I had four today).  That having been said, the head shot of Fielding on the back cover is sophisticated and glamorous, not at all the sort of woman who would seem to be at home writing about the joys of delousing one's children or eating grated cheese straight from the bag.  The lice bit really threw me for a loop.  I thought, if Bridget can find the fun in that scenario, then I can stop worrying that every backyard BBQ is going to end with a deadly mosquito bite.  (I could've inserted a lot of neuroses there but felt that it was important to stay consistent with insects.)  In this sense, the whole book is a non-preachy illustration of that saying, "life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, but about learning to dance in the rain."  I usually hate that one, especially when scrawled on some shabby chic plaque or embroidered on a don't-drool-on-me pillow.  But part of the reason I hate it is because I know it's true, just like I know Brussels sprouts are good for me even though I don't eat them.  Fielding makes the whole thing more palatable, serving it up with the proverbial spoonful of sugar, even at the darkest hour, say when Bridget enrolls in an obesity clinic or is forced by studio execs to turn her screenplay, which is a rewriting of Ibsen's feminist tragedy Hedda Gabler, into a comedy that takes place on a yacht.  (There's even worse stuff going on, but as a recovering spoiler, I'll refrain from going there.)  At first that part made me mad, as I didn't want "the Man" messing with Bridget's masterpiece.  But then I realized that the whole incident was a metaphor for Bridget herself and the way she turns even the bleakest of circumstances into something that is, at times, laugh-out-loud funny, emerging even stronger than she was before.  Studio exec-manipulated or not, that's more moving then some one-dimensional tearjerker, proving that laughter truly is the best medicine.

Maybe I should embroider that on a pillow, or better yet, glue it on a necklace (a really big necklace).       

Monday, August 11, 2014

Going Green






Tunic: She Said, J. C. Penney's
Tee: Kohl's
Skirt: Boscov's
Shoes: Ami Clubwear
Bag: J. C. Penney's
Belt: Wet Seal
Sunglasses: Rampage, Boscov's







Tee: Kohl's
Skirt: Kohl's
Shoes: Betseyville, Macy's
Bag: Marshalls
Belt: Izod, Marshalls
Sunglasses: Target







Dress: XOXO
Cardigan: Mossimo, Target
Shoes: Alloy
Bag: J. C. Penney's
Cyan scarf: Gifted
Teal scarf: Express
Sunglasses: Rampage, Boscov's

Contrary to its title, this isn't going to be a post about eco-friendly living.  Indeed, if the husband is a friend of the universe, then I am its enemy.  Oh, I recycle all the normal stuff like juice bottles and pickle jars and old magazines.  But cereal boxes?  Toilet paper rolls?  Empty face wash tubes?  It's in the sludge of such murky territory that I draw the line.  It's not that I don't think recycling is important.  It's just so time-consuming when carried out with a full social conscience.  Also, I have an interest in preventing the growth of the refuse mountain that holds court in my kitchen, the summit of which sometimes looks like a crown if the Cool Whip containers and jewel-toned plastic wrap lean together just right.  

So, if this isn't going to be an ode to the environment, then what is it?  A tribute to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, that's what!  I saw the movie reboot this weekend (sorry, Begin Again), so I have the brothers on the brain.  Although they're no Jem or My Little Ponies, the nunchuck-wielding New Yorkers have always held a special place in my heart.  Choosing to think of them as more cute than cutthroat, I often forget that they're not only turtles, but ninjas, a fact handily hammered home by Vanilla Ice in that Kraft macaroni and cheese commercial.

I grew up on the cartoon incarnation, and Leonardo was always my favorite.  I preferred his steadfast, serious ways to Michelangelo's carefree, what's-up? tude.  Sure, Michelangelo would be more fun at parties (and as such claimed the movie's best one-liners despite cameraman Will Arnett putting up a passable fight), but Leonardo was the kind of true-blue terrapin that you wanted with you for the long haul.  The other character that made an impression on me was that villainous brain Krang, probably because he was just so disgusting.  I still think of him every time I eat strawberry yogurt and some of it dribbles off of my spoon.  Until recently, I thought Krang's name was Craig.  The discovery was kind of a letdown.  Craig was much funnier; he sounded like the kind of kid who would steal your pudding and then sit in it.  Krang didn't make an appearance in the reboot, but I'm sure Nickelodeon and Michael Bay will wheel him out of the Technodrome for the inevitable sequel.

All in all, the movie was a good time.  Even moments of lukewarm levity were heightened by the squeals of laughter from the mostly ten-and-under crowd filling the theater.  The husband and I were a little surprised by the lack of fellow nostalgic thirty-somethings in attendance.  Where else could you relive the magic of pizza; larger-than-life, sewer-dwelling reptiles; and Renaissance painters all in one tidy package, except for maybe in an Italian-Japanese fusion restaurant with a Godzilla-takes-Venice theme?  My only complaint is (of course) fashion-related.  I was disappointed that Megan Fox's April O'Neill had swapped her iconic yellow jumpsuit for a rather pedestrian tan leather jacket.  Although I understand that a jumpsuit is, well, laughable, I can't help but feel that a bright yellow leather jacket would have been a nice modern twist, not to mention a fitting homage.  Still, she did rock green nail polish.

Now I've said everything that I have to say about our heroes in a half shell (you had to know that one was coming) except for the most obvious, which is the perhaps even more groan-inducing but nonetheless necessary (say it with me) Cowabunga, dude! 

You're still number one, Leonardo, but dreamboat or not, you can't beat a good catchphrase.  

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

So Much to Say . . .






Glam Garden Necklace

Dress: Marshalls
Tank: J. C. Penney's
Shoes: J. C. Penney's
Bag: Nine West, Boscov's
Blue scarf: Express
Pink scarf: Wet Seal
Sunglasses: J. C. Penney's







Tank: Kohl's
Skirt: Olsenboye, J. C. Penney's
Shoes: Ami Clubwear
Bag: Call it Spring, J. C. Penney's
Belt: Marshalls
Sunglasses: Cloud Nine, Ocean City boardwalk







Blouse: Marshalls
Bra top: Boscov's
Skirt: Marshalls
Shoes: Betseyville, Macy's
Sunglasses: Target

. . . about music (if you listen real hard, you can hear Dave Matthews Band cranking out that early-1990s classic).  Sometimes I think things.  Especially when I'm in my car, listening to the radio.  Which means that more often than not those thoughts are related to music.  Here, in no particular order, are some stray ones I managed to capture:

- I heard Hootie and the Blowfish's "Let Her Cry" the other day and thought, no wonder Darius Rucker went the route of the rhinestone cowboy.  This tearjerker of a tune has country written all over it.

- Carly Simon's "You're So Vain" always makes me wonder about James Taylor (even though they say the song's not about him).  As in, self-satisfied Lothario or self-effacing hippie?  You decide. 

- Here's a thought that went so far it crossed the line into unfettered fiction:

I remember driving in the car with my mother, listening to The Killers and asking her what she thought "I've got soul but I'm not a soldier," meant, and she said, "That Brandon Flowers is a lover, not a fighter."  I think she just made that up, though, because she was like that, and because she liked Brandon Flowers the way I liked Cade McGowan (or any other boy blessed with a dangerous-sounding name)

- The last telephone on-hold music I heard was kind of Renaissance-y, which I found to be a refreshing change from the usual classical or easy listening fare.  Then it got even snappier, segueing into a catchy bluegrass-meets-adult-contemporary number that was pure Weather Channel.  The next time you tune in to plan a beach day, don't be surprised if you start wondering where you can buy the CD.

- Some thoughts on Fred Durst:

Not too long ago, for some reason, I was wondering what became of Fred Durst, only to turn on a morning radio show and learn that he's directing eHarmony commercials.  Jokes about nooky ensued.  Then, less than a week later, I heard that he has a tattoo on his chest of Kurt Cobain facing Elvis.  A man of many layers, that Fred.

- Some thoughts on cowbell:

Thanks to that Christopher Walken/Will Ferrell SNL skit, everyone knows about the cachet of cowbell in Blue Oyster Cult's "(Don't Fear) The Reaper."  But I didn't realize just what a sweetly haunting sound it could be until I heard it in the Bangles' "Hazy Shade of Winter."   Naturally, I had to Google said song to confirm that it was in fact cowbell I was hearing, and when I did, I discovered that it was a cover originally done by Simon & Garfunkel.  I didn't see that coming.  Talk about more informed living through blogging!     
- And finally, I'd like to see Begin Again before it leaves theaters.  This isn't so much a thought as a weekend plan, but I'm okay with that if you are.

Until next time; may all of your soundtracks be smooth ones.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Valentine's Day in July






Top: Eric and Lani, Macy's
Skirt: Material Girl, Macy's
Shoes: Alloy
Bag: Fred Flare
Belt: Wet Seal
Scarf: Wet Seal







Dress: Lauren Conrad, Kohl's
Cardigan: Kohl's
Shoes: Betseyville, Macy's
Bag: Princess Vera, Kohl's
Scarf: Wet Seal
Sunglasses: Candie's, Kohl's







Dress: Kohl's
Cardigan: Delia's
Shoes: Alloy
Bag: Fred Flare
Scarf: Wet Seal


Retailers are always cashing in on the kitschy appeal of Christmas in July.  So I thought, why not celebrate the sweetest style holiday of them all and haul out the hearts and flowers half a year early?  Never mind that it's hot enough to melt your lace-wrapped Russell Stovers to fondue.  I'm not what you'd call a real retailer anyway, so all bets are off (although I am most certainly kitschy.)

Talking about hearts makes me think of heartthrobs, which makes me think of how this season of TV Land's decidedly kitschy original sitcom "Hot in Cleveland" has been guest starring Tim Daly. (Hey, I never said it'd be a young heartthrob; there's a reason why AARPs always courting me).  Not to be confused with Tyne Daly, who costarred with Amy Brenneman in "Judging in Amy," who in turn costarred with Tim in "Private Practice."  Don't you just love TV connections?  Speaking of which, I always liked Tim on "Wings," more than Steven Weber, although less than Thomas Haden Church.  There was just something about that jumpsuit . . .

But enough of that nonsense.  On to a more important love connection airing this July, namely my and the husband's first anniversary.  We officially celebrated on July 27, marking our second weekend of food-focused festivities, an event that started with a return to the scene of the ceremony, a. k. a. Renault Winery, and ended with a visit to Guy Fieri's new Atlantic City steakhouse.  What it most certainly did not include was the traditional eating of the frozen top tier of our wedding cake.  Well, at least not for me.  The husband very gamely and bravely bit into the freezer-burned buttercream.  Although I wrestled with doing the same, I ultimately decided that I'd put my intestines through enough during the last forty-eight hours. (I'm looking at you, Mac Daddy Mac n' Cheese.)  Here's what it looked like, though (the cake, not the mac n' cheese).  My artist's ego feels honor-bound to report that it originally featured red, yellow, and salmon roses, not just this frighteningly deep-freeze-leeched-yet-digitally-enhanced Ronald McDonald-esque duo of red and yellow.  That having been said, my inner Bridezilla of days past would be remiss (and I'm sure all brides say this, we being a notably narcissistic lot) in not mentioning that it was the most delicious cake I'd ever tasted (props, again, to the good folks at Renault).



While I'm on this me-me-me stroll down memory lane, here are a couple of wedding pictures in frames I embellished.  When the pictures were fresh last fall, I was the first one to point out the flaws, criticizing each unflattering pose, stray hair, and weird expression.  Now I just think about how happy we look, a sentiment that'll probably grow stronger as the years pass and our quirks (photographed and otherwise) wax even weirder.

Thank goodness I'm a big fan of weirdness.